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HISTORY: A major portion of the corporate archives of the American Car & Foundry Company, this collection is one of the largest of its kind in existence on the history of a railroad freight and passenger car builder. Donated by the firm in 1993, the collection is especially appropriate for the Mercantile Library as ACF was for many years one of the region's largest employers. The thirteen companies that orginally combined to create ACF are:
- Buffalo Car Manufacturing Company, Berwick, Pennsylvania (founded in 1872)
- Ensign Manufacturing Company, Huntington, West Virginia (founded in 1871)
- Jackson and Woodin Manufacturing Company, Berwick, Pennsylvania (founded in 1840)
- Michigan-Peninsular Car Company, Detroit, Michigan (founded in 1892)
- Minerva Car Company, Minerva, Ohio
- Missouri Car and Foundry Company, Madison, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri (founded in 1876 MO/1891 IL)
- Murray, Dougal and Company, Milton, Pennsylvania
- Niagara Car Wheel Company, Buffalo, New York
- Ohio Falls Car Manufacturing Company, Jeffersonville, Indiana
- St. Charles Car Company, St. Charles, Missouri (founded in 1873)
- Terre Haute Car and Manufacturing Company, Terre Haute, Indiana
- Union Car Company, Depew, New York
- Wells and French Company, Depew, New York
SCOPE: This large collection includes many of the business and manufacturing records of the American Car & Foundry Company and selected predecessor firms. Plans, production data, promotional and advertising items, and thousands of rare photographs cover the many products ACF manufactured for the world's transportation needs. Included are thousands of photographs depicting the company's freight and passenger cars, many of which are shown in multiple views. Selected movies produced by the firm are also included. The collection includes the records of the firm's Research and Development Department. Many of ACF's other business interests - such as nuclear power plants and wartime military production -- are well-represented in the collection. The collection is notable for the inclusion of thousands of detailed Bill of Materials listings for individual freight and passenger cars. See links below for photos of production and a pamphlet about their facilities.
HOLDINGS: 756 record boxes and other materials.
ACCESS: There are two main guides to Special Collection B-3. Both guides were compiled before the collection was donated to the library and hence, should be used with caution as they may not reflect current holdings.The Archive Collection Index (nd) provides a contents listing for each record box in the collection, arranged alphabetically by subject or title. The Archive Customer Index (nd) is an alphabetical listing - by railroad - of freight and passenger cars produced by ACF and may be used with caution as a finding guide to photographs held in the collection. Portions of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned, or photographed depending on condition.
Because of the inaccuracies in the guides provided by the donor, the library is in the process of creating a new and more accurate finding aid for the collection that reflects what materials are available from the St. Louis Mercantile Library. Researchers who are interested in accessing the collection should consult with the library before their visit to ensure that the material they are interested is available.
Portions of this collection are housed in an off site location and is therefore not available on demand.Patrons are urged to contact the library before their arrival. Contact information is provided below, or by calling 314-516-7247.